In one of the largest sales yet of virtual property in an online game, a Miami resident refinanced his real home to buy a virtual space station for $100,000. He plans to call his space resort, in the game Project Entropia, “Club Neverdie.”
What is virtual real estate you ask? Forget waterfront condos and zen gardens. Domain names, the virtual real estate of the Web, can deliver far better returns. Here is an interesting story in Business 2.0 about buying domains:
But the way domainers look at it, they own the property. “And if you own the real estate,” Rabin says, “people are going to wind up there at some point.” Soon, he figures, Wall Street at large will begin to catch on, providing opportunities to tap into the public markets. Then big Internet players like Rupert Murdoch or Barry Diller could buy out the domain owners. Some even speculate that Google or Yahoo — or Microsoft, which is entering the paid search business — will roll up the domainers, cutting out a layer and serving up the type-in traffic directly to their advertisers.
Virtual real estate is not boom or bust; it’s here to stay. Grab a shovel and stake your claim. Even the guy in Miami who owns club “Neverdie” will make his money back from the online business.
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Gus Moore heads up Miami Beach 411 as site administrator. You can reach him at 1-305-754-2206.